The Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) Coordinator, Dr. Aminu Magashi urged the Federal Government to ensure efficient and transparent utilisation of all COVID-19 funds, noting that the COVID-19 funding and recovery plan touches the lives of all Nigerians, and as such the public should be adequately informed on how each penny is utilised.
The AHBN boss, who was represented by the Senior Programme and Partnership Officer, Obinna Onuoha, stated this at the 5th Annual Conference of the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ) in Nasarawa State.
He urged ANHEJ members to ensure they ask hard questions on the type, nature and duration of funding support for every recovery plan while the media should ensure that all Nigerians are well informed with facts.
“With all the efforts underway towards recovery from COVID-19, the media stand front, line and centre in ensuring that all Nigerians are well-informed with the facts, what funding has been received and from whom, what plans from the government are in place to utilise these funds to provide quality health, what are the checks and balances to ensure these dedicated funds offer value for money, what are the steps taken to ensure all concerned parties are held accountable in the disbursement and utilisation of these funds, what are the feedback mechanisms from the beneficiaries of these health interventions, and how are the challenges and lessons carried forth for future reference, that we may learn from the past”.
“In our ever-connected world, information is power, information is key. Therefore, as health journalists entrusted with the revered responsibility of providing answers to these questions, Nigerians look up to you as custodians of factual, verified and timely information.
“Every COVID-19 funding and recovery plan touches the lives of all Nigerians, and as such, we must ensure that the public is adequately carried along. If you have not heard it before, I say it to you now, you are saving millions of lives by the work that you d,” Magashi said.
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